Projection: The attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings, or suppositions to others.
Could Maureen Dowd's idée fixe -- that Republicans seek father figures -- be the projection of the columnist's deep-seated desire for a strong man of her own? Dowd's columns are as much pop psychology as political commentary. The NY Times columnist understands virtually everything in terms of the underlying impulses of the id, ego and super-ego.
When it comes to presidential preferences, Dowd's theory is that Republicans seek strong men who will dole out discipline and authority. Take today's [p.p.v.] opus, Old School Inanity, in which Dowd twice trots out her father-figure formula [emphasis added]:
Dying for a daddy, the Republicans turn their hungry eyes to Fred.
Republicans are especially eager for a papa after their disappointing experiences with Junior [Bush, not Earnhardt, although many are indeed dismayed he's missed the Chase].
Dowd's notion is that, whereas Republicans are hopeful that Fred Thompson might fill the fatherly role, he might not be the real daddy deal. She bases this largely on the thin reed that Thompson, responding to a CNN question, suggested that the failure to capture Osama is not as important as the likely presence of al-Qaeda operatives in the U.S.
Writing off Thompson, Dowd then demands:
Can we please get someone in charge who will stop whining that Osama is hiding in “harsh terrain,” hunt him down and blast him forward to the Stone Age?
Say what, Maureen? You're dreaming of having someone "in charge"? A guy who doesn't whine? A hunter who will "blast" Osama?
Who wants a daddy, now?